Do politicians want to discuss issues?

Coffee mug wisdom

Coffee mug wisdom

The recent by-election in Scarborough Guildwood has given me an opportunity to explore the truth of Kim Campbell’s words that elections are no time to discuss serious issues. She made this un-democratic statement when she was a Progressive Conservative in Ottawa.

During the by-election, I forwarded two questions, via e-mail, to each of the candidates for the Conservatives, Liberals and the NDP. The questions were about our relationship with First Nations peoples.

What were the results when I asked about these serious issues?

When the Conservative candidate came to our door, I asked why I had not received a response to my e-mail. He promised that either his Campaign Manager, or his Public Relations person would respond. No reply yet.

When the second canvasser for the Liberals visited, he promised that their campaign would get back to me by the end of the day. I received both a phone call and an e-mail response later that day. Subsequently, on the Liberals third canvass, I discussed one of my questions with a cabinet minister, Liz Sandals.

The NDP responded to my e-mail by referring me to a policy statement from their leader, Andrea Horwath. I did not have to follow-up on my request.

Was Kim Campbell correct? It seems to me that two of the three parties were able to respond to a policy question. Maybe it is only the Conservatives who think that elections are no time to discuss serious issues. At least that was my experience in this by-election.


Posted August 6, 2013 by allanbaker in Politics

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